President Tsai Ing-wen (蔡英文) yesterday touted the nation’s indigenous ship program as being successful as she presided over a ceremony in Kaohsiung for the launch of the first of the Coast Guard Administration’s (CGA) planned fleet of four 4,000-tonne frigates.
According to the Ocean Affairs Council, the ship was named Chiayi (嘉義) based on the council’s naming regulations for coast guard ships, adding that “Chiayi,” which catches more fish than any other county or city, was an apt name for the ship with the largest tonnage in the CGA.
Built by CSBC Corp, Taiwan (CSBC, 台灣國際造船), the ship has professional-grade medical facilities, as well as a negative-pressure isolation ward and a surgery room, to meet disease prevention regulations, the council said.
The council said that normal sick beds on the ship could also be fitted with negative pressure covers, to decrease chances of infection.
The ship is also capable of carrying one Sikorsky S-70C helicopter, which could ferry sick patients to medical establishments on land and would increase the ship’s patrol capabilities, it said.
Capable of withstanding level 10 winds and undertaking long missions of up to 10,000 nautical miles (18,520km), the Chiayi and the other three ships would be able to deliver disease prevention materials to nearby countries, and help with humanitarian aid, the council said.
The Chiayi is expected to be deployed under the CGA’s central Taiwan branch.
In her speech, Tsai said that the addition of the ship would increase mission efficacy and improve safety for CGA personnel.
The ship’s launch shows that the indigenous ship program is successful, that Taiwan is serious about bolstering its national defense capabilities and marks the beginning of a new era for the national defense industry, she said.
Tsai said that she wanted to thank all who have contributed to the program’s success and the CGA’s personnel, who oversee the defense of Taiwanese territorial waters.
The ship is the largest frigate in the nation’s existing fleet and is the result of successful collaboration with international company Ingalls Shipbuilding Co, which designed the Legend-class National Security Cutter being used by the US Coast Guard, Tsai said.
Although designed foremost as a support ship, the Chiayi could be quickly refitted with armaments if war should break out across the Taiwan Strait, the president added.
WHEELING AND DEALING? Hou You-yi, Ko Wen-je, Eric Chu and Ma Ying-jeou are under investigation for allegedly offering bribes for the other side to drop out of the race Taipei prosecutors have started an investigation into allegations that four top politicians involved in attempts to form a “blue-white” presidential ticket have contravened election regulations. Listed as defendants are Chinese Nationalist Party (KMT) presidential candidate and New Taipei City Mayor Hou You-yi (侯友宜), KMT Chairman Eric Chu (朱立倫), former president Ma Ying-jeou (馬英九) of the KMT and Taiwan People’s Party (TPP) Chairman and presidential candidate Ko Wen-je (柯文哲). The case stemmed from judicial complaints filed last month with the Taipei District Prosecutors’ Office alleging that the KMT (blue) and the TPP (white) had engaged in bribery by offering money or other enticements
EXPOSED: Some Taipei wardens reported joining the trips out of peer pressure, while others said they were relieved it was made public so they could refuse, a city councilor said Nearly 30 percent of Taipei borough wardens have joined group tours to China that were partially funded by the Chinese government, leading prosecutors probing potential Chinese interference in January’s elections to question local officials, an investigation showed. Democratic Progressive Party Taipei City councilors Chien Shu-pei (簡舒培) and Chen E-jun (陳怡君) have reported cases of Taipei borough wardens inviting residents to join inexpensive privately organized group tours to China that were partially funded by the Chinese government. The six-day trips reportedly cost NT$10,000 to NT$15,000, the councilors said. An investigation by the Liberty Times (the Taipei Times’ sister newspaper) showed that nearly 30 percent
ELIGIBLE FOR JANUARY: All presidential candidates and their running mates meet the requirements to run for office, and none hold dual citizenship, the CEC said Taiwan People’s Party (TPP) Legislator and vice presidential candidate Cynthia Wu (吳欣盈) is working with the Central Election Commission (CEC) to resolve issues with her financial disclosure statement, a spokesman for the candidate said yesterday, after the commission published the statements of all three presidential candidates and their running mates, while confirming their eligibility to run in the Jan. 13 election. Wu’s office spokesman, Chen Yu-cheng (陳宥丞), said the candidate encountered unforeseen difficulties disclosing her husband’s finances due to being suddenly thrust into the campaign. She is also the first vice presidential nominee to have a foreign spouse, complicating the reporting of
GOOD NEWS: Although open civic spaces are shrinking in Asia-Pacific countries and territories, Taiwan’s openness is a positive sign, an expert said Taiwan remains the only country in Asia with an “open” civic space for the fifth consecutive year, the Civicus Monitor said in a report released yesterday. The People Power Under Attack 2023 report named Taiwan as one of only 37 open countries or territories out of 198 globally, and the only one in Asia. Compiled by Civicus — a global alliance of civil society organizations dedicated to bolstering civil action — the ranking compiled annually since 2017 measures the state of freedom of association, peaceful assembly and expression around the world. Researchers assign each country or territory one of five rankings describing the